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History of Geology

History of Geology

What rocks tell and how we came to understand it

The Man who made Mountains

The Man who made Mountains

U.S.G.S. engineer Bailey Willis ( February 19, 1949) was known for his unorthodox approach to geological questions. Puzzled by the geological structures he discovered in mountain ranges, long before computer-models were available, he constructed a machine to simulate the mountain-forming process.

February 19, 2014 — David Bressan
Coming Next: Pompeii – a Geological Movie-Review

Coming Next: Pompeii – a Geological Movie-Review

A new disaster movie, retelling the fate of the ancient town of Pompeii, will be released soon. The filmmakers spent six years researching the volcanic disaster that destroyed the town to make it as historically accurate as possible – but what about the geology?

February 16, 2014 — David Bressan
For Valentine’s Day: Love can move Mountains (sort of)

For Valentine’s Day: Love can move Mountains (sort of)

January 11, 1996 a single seismograph of the Geological Survey of Canada buried in a quiet wooded area on central Vancouver Island started to record an unusual strong seismic signal – slowly, but perpetually increasing in amplitude over time it was recorded only at this station – nearby station (located within a radius of 20km) [...]

February 14, 2014 — David Bressan
Landslides in a Changing Climate

Landslides in a Changing Climate

A video showing the aftermath of a rockfall in South-Tyrol remembers us that even small mass movements can have disastrous – or even deadly – effects.

February 11, 2014 — David Bressan
Of Mountain Building and Dwarven Treasures

Of Mountain Building and Dwarven Treasures

Alpine-Type Fissures, fissures filled often with large and beautiful crystals of Quartz, Plagioclase, Rutile , Amphibole and even Gold, are – according to Alpine folklore the treasure chambers of dwarves – but how these treasures formed is even more fascinating than legends could figure out… Soon after the basic principles of the succession of rocks [...]

February 8, 2014 — David Bressan

When Rock Classification is not hard anymore, thank Mohs Scale of Hardness

Talc – Gypsum – Calcite – Fluorite – Apatite – Feldspar – Quartz – Topaz – Corundum – Diamond - “Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness ” should be familiar to rock-hounds and earth-science students alike, as it lists common minerals in the order of relative hardness (talc as the softest and diamond as the hardest [...]

January 29, 2014 — David Bressan
Cabinet of Curiosities #4: The Geekmas Edition

Cabinet of Curiosities #4: The Geekmas Edition

“We Geologists are Bearing gifts we traverse afar Field and fountain, moor and mountain Following yonder fossil star…”   Already the gifts by the three kings following the star in the first Christmas-night were connected to geology, as explored in this series of posts ( part 1 and part 2 ) on the EGU-Network.

December 24, 2013 — David Bressan
A little Christmas Dream

A little Christmas Dream

“A little Christmas Dream“, cartoon by Artist Georges du Maurier, published in Punch (1868), with what seems to be a creepy mammoth (image in public domain).

December 20, 2013 — David Bressan

You ever dance with the Devil’s Fossils…

“Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” (“Batman” 1989) The night before December 6, belongs to the Krampus, a beast-like demon in the Alpine folklore – and strange marks can be found on some rocks in the Dolomites - resembling the imprints of an exceptional large cloven [...]

December 5, 2013 — David Bressan

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